No stranger to controversy, animation overlord Seth MacFarlane has been targeted by the Parents Television Council for explicit comments referring to oral sex and ejaculation during a recent episode of FOX's American Dad.
In their latest press release, the PTC urges its members to file formal complaints with the Federal Communications Commission. The group notes that American Dad airs at 9:30 pm in the Eastern and Pacific time zones and 8:30 Central/Mountain, still a prime viewing time for millions of children.
To get its supporters sufficiently foaming at the mouth, the PTC helpfully provides graphic descriptions of the graphic references for those who don't watch the show. According to the press release, the episode included a reference to a vehicle that runs on carbon, oxygen, and potassium, dubbed the "Hummie C.O.K. Guzzler." One character says "…wouldn't it run cleaner if they added another carbon molecule before the potassium? Then it would guzzle C.O.C.K." The episode also included a depiction of ejaculation, with a character noting that he "splooged on the wall."
"This past summer the United States Supreme Court unanimously upheld the congressionally mandated authority of the Federal Communications Commission to enforce the broadcast decency law, which prohibits the airing of indecent material on the publicly-owned airwaves during times when children are likely to be in the audience. We believe this broadcast has broken the law, and we are calling on the FCC to hold Fox and its affiliates accountable," said PTC president Tim Winter.
"This kind of content is nothing new from Fox or Seth MacFarlane. In the past, 'American Dad' and MacFarlane's other programs have included scenes mocking people with Down syndrome, implying father-daughter incest, a man masturbating a horse, a baby eating horse sperm, and a character eating vomit and excrement out of a baby’s diaper," added Winter in one of the most disgusting sentences ever.
Pointing out that the material in question was broadcast on the same day that MacFarlane was named host of next year's Academy Award ceremony, Winter questioned the selection in comparison to Hollywood legends such as Bob Hope and Johnny Carson. Believing that a cartoon is inherently more alluring to a child, he also disagreed with the show's TV-14 rating.
While I uphold the right to free speech and believe that parents should be monitoring their children—shouldn't kids be in bed by 9:30 on a Sunday night?—I do agree that MacFarlane's shows generally rely on gross-out and shock humor these days. Family Guy has been on a downhill slide since its return from oblivion, but I finally stopped watching immediately following the scene mentioned by Mr. Winter, wherein Brian the anthropomorphic dog consumed the fecal content of Stewie's diaper and proceeded to vomit profusely. I also have a problem with Family Guy reruns airing during the dinner hour in syndication. I'm no prude, but this is a show that is clearly inappropriate for children and should be confined to primetime.
Do you agree with the PTC or are they off-base?